Where are we?

Machu Picchu

We arrived in Machu Picchu Pueblo Tuesday afternoon after parking Vanna in a secure place in Ollantaytambo. The train ride was nice, great views of the mountains and the roaring river that the tracks follow.  Once we got to Machu Picchu Pueblo, which is still sometimes called Aguas Calientes but the gov't has officially changed the name, we spend some time walking around the village.

The village has no roads other than one going out towards Machu Picchu citadel that the buses use. Other then that there are only pedestrian walkways which is really nice!! No tuk tuks or taxis beeping!! There are no roads that come to MMP.  The closest is 11km away in Santa Theresa. Niko who is at the reception desk of our BnB told us that the US said they would build a railway to Aguas Calientes back in the late 1920's as long as no road was ever built to AG. Thereby giving the railway full rights to the eventual tourist attraction of Machu Picchu citadel.

A river runs right thru the centre of the village and there are many walking bridges crossing over it. The reason it was called Aguas Calientes is because of the hot springs in the village. There are about 5000 full-time residents. A very nice town to walk around other then it is either straight up or straight down walking! LOL!!

I'm excited for today because we are meeting with my cousin Phillip and his wife Sofia from Germany while they are also here! We met them for dinner after their visit to MP in the morning.  Sofia is originally from Peru,  born in Lima.  Haven't seen them for almost 3 years so it was fun to get together! Had way to many Pisco sours and beers with them LOL!!!

Our train to Machu Picchu Pueblo

Nice panorama views

The fierce Rio Urubamba that we follow all the way to MPP

Rio Aguas Calientes that goes thru the middle of MPP

They were busy taking down the Christmas tree in the main plaza, can you see what it's made with?

Empty green plastic bottles! Great idea!

Plaza de Armas

This little cutie came up and layed right by us keeping one paw on Dwayne's leg :)

Cool street lights

Lots of carved figures right into rocks that are part of the landscape

This just shows the back of the carving which is just a huge rock

And they are all lit up at night

Carving done in a large rock along Rio Calientes

Pisco Sours with Sofia and Phillip

Rio Aguas Calientes at night
Phillip and Sophia had a beautiful clear day for their visit. Unfortunately we got the rainy cloudy day - and of course there are no "rain checks" for the tickets. You have to book the day and the time you want to visit MP probably at least 2 weeks before your visit. Maybe in the low season you can buy a ticket the day before at their office in Michu Picchu Pueblo.

Machu Picchu is unique of course from all the rest of the ruins we have seen because so much more work has gone into it to make it look good. It is also the "youngest" of the ruins we've seen.  It is definitely Peru's gov't cash cow! Which is unfortunate that they don't promote other sites and spread the wealth to other communities. It was good to see but it didn't WOW us! We took 2 hours walking along the paths and then there was suppose to be a museum that we could go to but there was no signage and when we got back to where the buses were parked to take us down, we just kinda fell in line and back on the bus going down.  ***found out later that the museum is about a 25 min walk outside of Machu Picchu town on the road towards MP.  Definitely not well advertised!**

Lining up for the bus in the rain :( 
What's not allowed at MP - but to bad they don't enforce it! There were people with walking poles, selfie sticks - but didnt see anyone girls wearing stilettos!! LOL!!!
Machu Picchu used only from 1450-1540AD

Along the beginning walkway towards the top of Machu Picchu

Terraced areas above the main building sites
Almost see Huayna Picchu mtn in the clouds!
This is what we got as a background shot - both a little wet!
We were hoping for this background
Terraced area with the royal palace and other building on the left

The lower buildings next to the terraced area where the royal palace was 
Same area

Temple of the Three Windows

View of the Principal Square below the buildings

Cool how theses rocks fit together

This is part of the main temple

The Sacred Rock

View of the valley

Not sure why there are these rock "beams" that are round

More terraces and the river and rail tracks below

Prisoners area

One of many of the llamas in the Principal Square keeping the grass trimmed :) 
Even as we drive away from MP Huayna Picchu is still hidden in the clouds 
Machu Picchu Pueblo is quite the place! There must be at LEAST 200 restaurants and they all pretty well have the same menu and are expensive! Plus 100 massage shops!! Also where our hotel was located we had to walk along the main walkway where there are so many restaurants it's ridiculous. As you walk by each one of them a waiter tries to get you to look at their menu and come into their restaurant. We haven't seen that many touts since Marrakech!!  It was like that every time going up to the hotel and of course when we would come down! I was pretty crazy.

And then lots of souvenir stores 

His lower jaw reminded my of Kasey a dog we had before we retired

Love the dressed up guinea pig
We spent an extra day in Machu Picchu pueblo because I thought the extra room in the hotel room would be nice. Which is was, even though there were no English stations other than CNN to watch on TV. Plus there was a problem with the wifi so didn't have that :(  The guy at the reception desk told us about a hike to some waterfalls not to far away. So we thought that should use up some of the morning.  So walked over to the gate and started up the dirt and big rock path thru the jungle, and it was a pretty steep climb! My quads were still hurting from climbing up on Machu Picchu! It's pretty warm out but it's sprinkling a little so getting hot wearing my jacket. We get to a little house where the guy stops people and asks for S/10 per person to continue the hike. He has nice little brochure of the 2 falls. But it's another km to get to!! My legs are already killing me getting up those big rock steps to get this far!  He shows us some miniature replicas he built of The Inca Bridge, the 3 windows of Machu Picchu and other ruins. It was quite impressive.  Then we go off and continue to the waterfalls.  When we get up there I'm beat!! Of course the walk down is alot easier other than some steps are really big, and now with it raining, slippery! But i get back down without crashing :)

The Inka Bridge

He made all the little blocks out of sand and cement. They are pretty small - should have put my hand in the picture to show the size better

Temple of the 3 windows

This one is built into a stream

Yup this is the waterfall I walked 2kms for!

Second was a little better
Then it was time to look for a place to have a latte and warm up. Ohh look at that, found a coffee place that also has nice looking cakes! So I had the torte de Moka and Dwayne torte chocolate 😋 Just before we got to the cafe a nice looking black dog follows us. He follows us into the cafe and lays next to us. The owner tried to get him to leave, but he wouldn't, so Dwayne got up and took him back outside. Didn't last long and he snuck back in so I let him lay between us and hidden under the table 😂. He stayed there until we finished and then followed us out and down the walkway for aways, then guess end of his territory and he goes back. Such a pretty dog - but didn't even get a picture of him :(

We head back to the BnB to pickup our backpacks to head to the train station - one last trip down tout alley and continually saying No Gracias!  We go into the Mercado and have a quick soup lunch at one of the local vendors. Much cheaper eating here then at an over priced restaurant!

Going to the train station

Now we are back in Vanna and look forward to getting back on the road again - heading to Cusco.

Cost of going to Machu Picchu:
Tickets to MP  $122C
Train to MP       317
Bus to MP         130
BnB- 2 nights      71
Total                $640 plus food and drinks

As we drive out of Ollantaytambo we see where the porters for the Inka Trail hike are drying out all the equipment before the next trip up


  1. After reading this we are so happy that we made the decision to not go to Machu Picchu when we were in Peru in Oct./Nov. it just doesn't sound like our type of trip. I think we would go to one or two of the lesser known ruins instead. I hope that you enjoyed your stop there and that it was worth the money that you spent.

  2. Yes I found the lesser known ones more interesting and way less money!! I wish we could have got to Kuelap - but it's a long bumpy road to get there!